Innovation Consulting & Training

Helping companies discover capability, develop capacity, and build a culture of innovation

Innovation has been the lifeblood of economies, but its importance and relevance has been heightened, underscored by the instability and uncertainty of these unprecedented times.

For many companies in East Africa, 2020 was a crucible moment to fundamentally rethink their approach to recovery and growth, and the realisation that innovation is the driving force. Innovation is no longer a choice, and yet it remains misunderstood and mismanaged.

MEET THE TEAM

Innovation starts with people.

Successful innovation management demands different skills and metrics compared to traditional management.
Career Connections has a track record of assessing, coaching and developing key talent to support critical strategic endeavours. We help organisations to build the capability of innovation, put in place end-to-end processes for innovation, and build a culture that fosters creativity.

OUR PARTNERS

The Innovator's DNA
Our partners, Innovator’s DNA, is a US-based innovation consulting and training company that works with some of the most innovative companies including Tesla, Coca Cola,GE, Microsoft and AT&T. Over the past 7-years they have collaborated with the Forbes Magazine to produce the World’s Most Innovative Companies List, which includes Amazon, Tesla, Facebook, Apple and Netflix.

Based on extensive inductive studies of innovators in hundreds of companies, Innovator’s DNA has researched what makes the most innovative companies successful, how they have maintained innovation capabilities and turned around innovation.

INNOVATION SOLUTION

Through our partners we offer a range of innovation solutions including:

Innovation Assessment

Evaluating individual capability using the 5 Discovery Skills of Innovation (associational thinking, questioning, observing, networking, and experimenting) to develop the key behaviours practiced by innovative people.

Innovator's Training

Hands-on and experiential training with first-hand experience in application to real-world challenges including Innovators DNA, customer immersion and empathy, experimenting and prototyping, business model innovation, and Innovators Philosophy.

Innovator's Accelerator

An experiential learning solution to help develop innovation capability, designed using state of the art learning technologies.

Innovation Sprints

2-week long sessions that apply the innovation method to current organisation initiatives providing teams with deep exposure to customer needs and pain points and developing a range of potential solutions through rapid experimenting and prototyping.

Innovation Journeys

intensive application of an innovation method to capture highly strategic and disruptive opportunities. Dedicated teams spend 4 to 5 months in deep immersion with hundreds of customer interactions, experimenting and prototyping on multiple solutions and developing innovative go-to-market strategies.

Assessment

Evaluating individual capability using the 5 Discovery Skills of Innovation (associational thinking, questioning, observing, networking, and experimenting) to develop the key behaviours practiced by innovative people.

Training

Hands-on and experiential training with first-hand experience in application to real-world challenges including Innovators DNA, customer immersion and empathy, experimenting and prototyping, business model innovation, and Innovators Philosophy.

Innovators Accelerator

An experiential learning solution to help develop innovation capability, designed using state of the art learning technologies.

Innovation Sprints

2-week long sessions that apply the innovation method to current organisation initiatives providing teams with deep exposure to customer needs and pain points and developing a range of potential solutions through rapid experimenting and prototyping.

Innovation Journeys

intensive application of an innovation method to capture highly strategic and disruptive opportunities. Dedicated teams spend 4 to 5 months in deep immersion with hundreds of customer interactions, experimenting and prototyping on multiple solutions and developing innovative go-to-market strategies.
factsheet

Download the Innovator's Accelerator Factsheet for more information

DOWNLOAD

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Reach out to us with regard to any of the innovation solutions mentioned above. Fill up the form and we shall get back to you on your inquiry.

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MEET THE TEAM

Madeleine Dunford

Founder & Managing Director

Madeleine Dunford

Founder & Managing Director

Biography

Madeleine Dunford is the Founding Director and Managing Director of Career Connections. She is accredited in various assessment methodologies including Hogan Assessment Systems, Morrisby Profile, Assessment & Development Centres and the Leadership Versatility Index, having introduced the tools into Africa. She brings 24 years of experience in consultancy, putting together large selection, restructuring and development programs for some of the most successful organisations in the banking, airline, telecommunications sectors. She is an ICF accredited Executive Coach, a faculty member of the Academy of Executive Coaching, UK, and is currently doing her Systemic Team Coaching Masters Practitioner qualifications. She has a BA (Hons) from the University of York, an MSc (with distinction) from the University of Edinburgh, and a Certificate in the Art and Practise of Leadership Development from the University of Harvard.

Amrita Choda

Client Partner, Talent Advisory

Amrita Choda

Client Partner, Talent Advisory

Biography

Amrita Choda is a Client Partner in the Talent Advisory unit at Career Connections. In this capacity, she supports multi-nationals and large local organisations in managing and developing talent from selection, recruitment of senior management, on-boarding, restructuring, reorganisation and outplacement. ​ Amrita is certified from the Academy of Executive Coaching (AoEC), UK, in the Practitioner Diploma in Executive Coaching and Systemic Team Coaching. She is certified by PSI A&DC in the Assessor Skills Training, the Leadership Versatility Index (LVI), USA, and Hogan Assessment Systems (HAS), USA. She is a trained facilitator of the Assessor Skills Training programme and the Competency Based Interviewing Skills Certification.​ Amrita has over 15 years work experience both locally and internationally in diverse industry sectors. She holds a BA (Hons) Business Administration from the University of Kingston-Upon-Thames, UK. Majoring in Human Resource Management, Employee Relations, Market Research and New Product Development. ​

Gicheha Gitau

Principal, Talent Advisory

Gicheha Gitau

Principal, Talent Advisory

Biography

Gicheha Gitau is a Principal in the Talent Advisory unit at Career Connections, who for over 5 years has supported organisations in understanding and evaluating the talent needs and how best to explore human potential for effective individual and organisational performance and growth.​ He believes in data-driven insights in sourcing, recruitment, selection and employee development by guaranteeing fairness, validity and global best practice. Gicheha utilizes standard psychometric tests such as personality, cognitive/ability, and behavioural work simulations.​ ​ In his time at Career Connections, he has been involved in various assignments with local and multinational clients to support in professional search, candidate selection, restructuring/reorganisation, pilot assessment, panel interviews, young professional programmes, and conducting developmental feedback.​ ​ Gicheha is internationally certified in People Analytics by the Academy of Innovative HR (AIHR), Hogan Assessments Systems (USA), certified Assessor by PSI A&DC (UK) and holds a certificate in Coaching Skills from the Academy of Executive Coaching (AoEC), UK. ​ Gicheha holds a degree in Bachelor of Psychology from Egerton University.​

Neha Kapila

General Manager

Neha Kapila

General Manager

Biography

Neha Kapila is General Manager of Career Connections. She is Chartered Accountant with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) with over 14-years’ experience. Her tenure spans over 8 years in Career Connections, overseeing the internal finance and operations functions, including IT, Marketing and HR. Currently, she is responsible for designing and driving the execution of the Company strategy and leading key projects, while also playing the role of advisor to the Directors and Shareholders. Neha is also a certified executive coach with the Academy of Executive Coaching. Her passion lies in delivering value through designing and offering unique solutions. As a result, she has recently launched the fourth business division of Career Connections – the Innovation Consultancy and Training unit. The business division focusses on innovation as a solution, in partnership with Innovator’s DNA, a US-based innovation consulting and training company that works with some of the most innovative companies including Tesla, GE, Microsoft and AT&T. Prior to joining Career Connections, Neha gained extensive experience in financial management and corporate audits gained working with international audit firms, PKF (Kenya) and BDO (East Africa).

Zia Manji

Director and Senior Client Partner

Zia Manji

Director and Senior Client Partner

Biography

Zia is a Director and Senior Client Partner. With over 25-years of multidisciplinary business experience in a variety of sectors, Zia has held executive and leadership roles in a family business, consumer goods, and consulting. He leads the largest executive search business in East and Central Africa, and through an alliance with Korn Ferry, leads pan-African search assignments for Board, CEO and C-Level hires. In the last decade, through a partnership with the Academy of Executive Coaching, he has contributed to the development of accredited executive coaches in East Africa, and helped organisations design sustainable and personalised leadership development. He is dedicated to helping senior executives and boards of multinational and large local companies by offering a unique perspective that combines an entrepreneurial heritage, a breadth of business experience and an extensive network. This, combined with his depth and specialisation in organisational psychology, supports CEOs and business leaders to understand their leadership, leverage talent, understand complexities and bring about change. He is a graduate of the renowned Executive Master in Consulting and Coaching for Change at INSEAD Business School (with distinction), and has an undergraduate degree in Business from the University of Edinburgh, where he was recipient of the John MacFarlane Award for Leadership. Complementing his vocational specialisations, is his passionate avocation of monochrome waterscape photography, and he regularly holds exhibitions to raise money for conservation and environmental causes.

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